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(holly), a genus of plants of the family Aquifoliaceae. The trees or shrubs are evergreen or, sometimes, deciduous. The generally coriaceous leaves are spinose, toothed, crenate, serrate, or entire. The flowers are usually unisexual and four-parted; they are solitary or in few-flowered axillary inflorescences. The fruit is a drupe.
There are more than 400 species of holly, distributed in the tropics and subtropics. Some species are encountered in the temperate zones of both hemispheres. Six species, including I. col-chica and the Japanese holly (I. crenata), are grown in the USSR in the Far East and the Caucasus. Nine species, including the English holly (I. aquifolium), have been introduced to the USSR. The leaves of the Paraguay tea (I. paraguensis) are used to make the drink maté.
Hollies are cultivated for decorative purposes. They tolerate cutting well and are sometimes made into hedges.
REFERENCESFlora SSSR, vol. 14. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Derev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1958.
Hume, H. H. Hollies. New York, 1953.